- January 16, 2017 at 8:24 am #127106
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
This is one of those verses where most people think it’s about one thing, but it’s about another thing entirely. If I were to ask most of you what you thought this verse was about, you’d probably say it is about going to church. It’s not!
There is much disputation about what the latter verses of Hebrews 10 regard, especially verses 25-31. I will be writing about this in The Judgment of the Summer Fruits, as well as going through the verses more in depth when I get to this chapter in my study of the entire book. (That was yesterday, 1/15/17)
So if that verse isn’t about going to church, what is it about? I’m so glad you asked
When we break this verse down in the original Greek, we quickly come to learn the word “assembling” is G1997 “episunagógé: a gathering together, an assembly”. This word is used only two times in the New Testament. The other is in II Thessalonians 2:1.
II Thessalonians 2:1-5 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
The context of II Thessalonians 2 begins with Paul allaying fears the rapture had already occurred and the church thinking they had missed it and were in the Tribulation. Paul says, regarding the rapture – gathering together, assembly, episunagógé – it hasn’t already happened. They hadn’t missed it, and they weren’t in the day of the Lord. Paul then goes on to give them a sequence of events; the same sequence of events he gives the unbelieving Hebrews in Hebrews 10. Rapture first, then day of the Lord.
Their unbelief in Jesus is what will lead the Jews into the Tribulation. Those who do believe will be saved via the rapture before that 7-year period of time starts. After all, what is pretty much the entire point of the Week? To bring the Jews to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:26-31 outlines what the Jews have to “look forward to” if they do not come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ beforehand.
Some people think Hebrews 10:26-31 talks about believing Jews continuing to offer sacrifices even though they were not necessary after Jesus’s atonement. While that may have happened, a sin is a sin is a sin, and Jesus paid for them all on the cross. God won’t judge His people – the church – for sinning. However, God WILL judge His people – Israel – for their unbelief. That’s the true context of those latter verses in Hebrews 10. But before judgment… redemption for believers. And that, we find in Hebrews 10:25.
The “assembling of ourselves together” which we are given instruction not to forsake is not about going to church. It’s about not forsaking knowledge of the pre-tribulation rapture and keeping each other encouraged in the interim. “And so much the more as ye see the day approaching”. It’s a specific day related to a specific event. YayRomans1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
January 16, 2017 at 6:18 pm #127145
That’s a very interesting take on that particular scripture, Heather. I must confess that I am with the masses on this one, having applied that verse to the idea of not going to church from the time I was a young Christian over 30 years ago.
Ironically, as I am currently not in a regular fellowship, I opened this thread prepared for a rebuke from the Lord through your words. Instead, after reading your post, I almost felt guilty for having found a scriptural “refuge” from the condemnation I sometimes feel due to my situation. I remain convinced that it is very unwise for me to not have some type of consistent fellowship with other believers (truth is a part of me deep in my soul longs for it), but I do not think that my belief will be based on Hebrews 11:25 any more. Thanks for sharing your insight.
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."January 16, 2017 at 7:26 pm #127149
I also have believed this particular verse as being miss-applied by the church, for the reason of advancing the corporate church. Which in itself defies the definition that the church is an spiritual entity!
And should one decide upon the traditional exposition of this verse, it surprisingly stands alone as an injunction. How odd is that? It always seemed out of place contextually as well!
By contrast, going to temple being pre-Calvary and looking forward to a better covenant, as opposed to the spiritual body of Christ. Church is indeed something more than a meeting place, but rather our resurrection!
The temple was David’s gift to God, where we could tabernacle with our God, and He with us. And while the early church met in homes, and then catacombs, I have not found any scriptural injunction to build let alone assemble in what we call church.
Church then is a spiritual endeavor which can happen anytime and anywhere. Church is a holy meeting of saints set apart by the blood of Christ for the purpose of worship, fellowship and discipleship. Church attendance was never an injunction of Christ, but that we forsake all and follow Him, as we carried the cross of our sanctification!
Jews still do temple because they have yet to receive the better covenant. Whereas we the church has already received that better covenant!
Whether at the base of a mountain, in the presence of pillars of fire and cloud, or in the belly of a whale, God would meet His people almost anywhere. Even in the prayer closets of our hearts!
Indeed this injunction can easily be coupled with another injunction of being known by our love for one another! Point being that we should in no wise refuse any who have been washed by the blood, but rather embrace them as does God!
Do we then follow the church’s leading, or the Holy Spirit’s leading?!
TRJanuary 16, 2017 at 7:50 pm #127152
PS: Modern church as we know it, follows after the RCC model. While the early church revered and sought out the teaching of those that had been with Christ, false teachers soon appeared.
The reverence for and submission to one and only “pastor” or “shepard” for the purpose of teaching is also an RCC model. The growth and exclusiveness of ecclesiastics was born. And then modeled by the protestant movement as well. An hierarchy was then established.
A simple meeting or gathering place is not a bad thing, but the politics and business of a church organization has been fraught with many land mines.
Both as like in times past and presently, both in the Jewish and Protestant persuasion, spiritual teachers of every ilk have offered both good and bad!
Again, I see no scriptural injunction of us to “marry” any teacher, denomination or church!
TRJanuary 16, 2017 at 8:02 pm #127154
I love the analysis but agree with W35. There is so much protection in gathering regularly and deploying our gifts in service and being under the care and teaching of a pastor/shepherd. I can’t count the times I have been sheltered from the bartering world. I know that no body is perfect. W35 I wish I could transport you into our church here in E. TN. I think of you often.January 16, 2017 at 9:05 pm #127156
I was not suggesting people shouldn’t go to church or seek fellowship. I was simply clarifying the context of the verse.Romans1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
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